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Sexual Orientation and School Policy

This book helps the reader to understand and mediate the debates that arise when gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersex, and queer/questioning students and their families ask for equal treatment from the schools and are opposed by conservative parents. Sexual Orientation and School Policy is a case study of one school districts' attempt to adopt and implement policies that include sexual orientation. This book describes the work of the Safe Schools Coalition who advocate and educate for equal rights for gay lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersex, and queer/questioning (GLBTIQ) students. Concerned Citizens, a group of conservative parents, opposed the inclusion of sexual orientation in the policies. Factors that either facilitated or impeded the implementation of the policies are highlighted, as are the strategies employed by the Safe Schools Coalition in educating opponents.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 Foreword Part 2 Foreword Part 3 I: Implementing School Nondiscrimination Policy that Includes Sexual Orientation: A Case Study in School and Community Politics Chapter 4 1 In the Beginning Chapter 5 2 A History of the Two Policies Chapter 6 3 Strategies Employed by the High Plains Safe Schools Coalition to Build Community and District Support Chapter 7 4 Lessons from the Case of High Plains Chapter 8 5 Suggestions for Other School Districts and Safe Schools Coalitions Part 9 II: Understanding Moral Conservative Opposition to School Policies that Include Sexual Orientation Chapter 10 6 Opposition to Educational Change Chapter 11 7 How the Various Sides in the Debate Make Meaning of the Policies Chapter 12 8 Why the Various Sides Support or Oppose the Inclusion of Sexual Orientation in the Policies Chapter 13 9 Conclusions: How to Evaluate the Competing Claims of Violations of Rights Part 14 Epilogue: My reflections on Doing this Research Part 15 Appendix A: On the Making ofSexual Orientation and School Policy Part 16 Appendix B: Methods of Data Analysis Part 17 Appendix C: Validity and Reliability Part 18 Appendix D: HPSD's Nondiscrimination Policy Part 19 Appendix E: Diversity Goal Statement with Beliefs from Strategic Plan Part 20 Appendix F: Associated Regulations that Support the Nondiscrimination Policy Part 21 Bibliography Part 22 About the Author

About the Author

Ian K. Macgillivray is assistant professor of curriculum and foundations of education at James Madison University. To visit his website, go to:


An experiential and practical guide to the problematic and politicized situation when educators attempt to create schools not only free of anti-gay violence, but schools where GLBTIQ students are valued equally with heterosexual students. Teachers College Record

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